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McAfee's Knob

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McAfee's Knob Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.3801, -80.0898 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 39,088
Administrators: Aaron James Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jeffrey Gardner on Feb 22, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
We backpacked the 3.5 miles the night before. Whe...


Mcafee's Knob is one of Virginia's premiere bouldering areas. The knob is also one of the most breathtaking hiking destinations in Virginia, and holds the the reputation as having the most photographed point on the Appalachian Trail (which you use to get to the bouldering). The climbing at M-Knob is comprised of free standing and channeled sandstone blocks and labyrinths. He holds vary from crimps to slopers, and from kind to aggressive. The developed bouldering at M-Knob is all on quality stone, and you likely wont find choss unless you go looking for it.

The hike to the top can be lengthy, being 3.5 miles long and taking an hour and a half, but the pay off is substantial. the best time to climb at M-Knob is in the cooler months (especially the late fall). The summer can be quite hot and buggy, but still enjoyable if you time it right.

-check this cool video/photo compilation out to get you stoked on some Knob bouldering:

Getting There 

From I-81 take exit for Rt. 311 just south of Roanoke. Follow 311 S and park at the top of Catawba mountain, where the AT crosses the road. There is a large gravel lot on the left.

For roadside and approach boulders cross 311 at the southern most corner of the gravel lot and walk up fire road until it joins with the AT at approx 2.5 miles. You will see the roadside boulders immediately on the right as you start up the fire road. You can also walk the AT from the northermost corner of the gravel lot to the summit boulders. Please refer to guidebook on Dr. Topo for more details concerning the problems.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.4 miles from here

119 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',24],['2 Stars',41],['1 Star',42],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in McAfee's Knob

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for McAfee's Knob:
Warm Up Roof Left   V2 5+     Boulder, 20'   The Belly Boulder Area : Warm-Up Boulder
Firedrake   V3 6A     Boulder   Dragon Boulders : Left Dragon
Centerline   V5 6C     Boulder, 12'   Roadside
Hypertension   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 17'   Roadside
Tremor   V6 7A     Boulder   The Corridor & Beyond : Zoloft Boulder
6'-4" Arete   V6 7A     Boulder, 10'   Highball Boulders
Moneyshot   V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   Roadside
Money Shot (extended start)   V7-8 7B     Boulder   Roadside
Dave's Line   V8-9 7B+     Boulder   Roadside
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in McAfee's Knob

Featured Route For McAfee's Knob
Rock Climbing Photo: Tremor!

Tremor V6 7A  VA : Roanoke/New River/Blacksbur... : ... : Zoloft Boulder
SO GOOD!!find the low left facing corner at the base of the boulder to SDS in. Match the thin crimp seam and pull a difficult start up to better slots. make a long move off on incuts to the lip. match lip to top out left through huge jugs....[more]   Browse More Classics in VA

Photos of McAfee's Knob Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron James Parlier on "Domino" (V7)
Aaron James Parlier on "Domino" (V7)
Rock Climbing Photo: The Warm-Up Boulder roof near the overlook, in the...
The Warm-Up Boulder roof near the overlook, in the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron James Parlier on "Domino" (V7)
Aaron James Parlier on "Domino" (V7)
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron James Parlier in The Corridor.
Aaron James Parlier in The Corridor.
Rock Climbing Photo: Austin's Seam (v7) at McAfee Knob, VA
Austin's Seam (v7) at McAfee Knob, VA

Comments on McAfee's Knob Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 30, 2015
By M.Dubo
Mar 30, 2011
dude...this is sweetness...thanks for your work on this area!
keep rockin'!
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Mar 30, 2011
No problem man! It'll take time to do along with my development in GHSP ramping up, but eventually Ill get it done. Thanks, and keep up what your doing as well. VA's starting to look good!
By Smirdok
From: Atkins, VA
Apr 6, 2011
I can never emphasize enough just how truly amazing this place is. Thanks again Aaron for letting me know this page exists...
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Apr 6, 2011
No prob Curt, its pretty spectacular! Even though we barely missed the thunderstorm of the century on the way out...
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Apr 11, 2011
Thanks for the heads up Travis! sounds horrible... hopefully that will soon pass.
By Jay Shultis
From: Blacksburg VA
Apr 26, 2011
We tried to climb on Saturday the 23rd and the gnats or whatever they are were pretty horrible at the top... really it was the wetness that made us quit because evrything is seeping, but we managed to get on a couple things. The prime season has ended pretty early it looks... wet spring now bugs, hopefully fall will be better for you guys!
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Apr 27, 2011
Thanks for all of the updates and info Jay. Keep em coming!

You should really try to make it out to GHSP this summer. Perfect camping, temps, and features. There are also plenty of attraction and trails to keep anyone occupied whether they climb or not.
By Michael Albanese
From: Lafayette, Co
Feb 19, 2012
The link to the guidebook isn't working for me, here's the url if anyone else is having the same problem.
By Aaron James Parlier
From: Boone, NC / Grayson, VA
Feb 19, 2012
Thanks Michael!
By ForeverMovement
Aug 30, 2015
I'm going to be going here on a massive trip I'm taking in a few weeks. I noticed the drtopo link didn't work so here's an update for anybody else who needs to get excited about this awesome area!

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